RIT Information Security Advisory: Tax Season Scams, Fraud Activity

Each tax season we hear of tax scams. The IRS issues many alerts about various scams and we've provided links to several of them below. As they did last year, cybercriminals are targeting tax professionals (and even payroll departments) to obtain identity information, buying and selling blocks of W2 information on the Dark Web. You can’t prevent the cybercriminals from obtaining your information from 3rd parties. However, you can better protect your information and lessen the possibility of being a victim of tax fraud.

Brian Krebs, a noted security expert and researcher, recommends the following steps:

  • File before the fraudsters do it for you. Fraudsters can file for a refund even if you’re not expecting one. File today and pay on April 15th.
  • Get on a schedule to request a free copy of your credit report. You’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the major bureaus each year.
  • Monitor, then freeze. Take advantage of credit monitoring services available to you. You may want to freeze your credit file to keep others from opening credit in your name. (You will have to unfreeze or thaw your credit file if you’re applying for credit.)
  • File form 14039 and request an IP PIN from the government.


What RIT is Doing

  • RIT Information Security and Public Safety work to detect cyber threats and report them to the RIT community as they occur.
  • RIT provides anti-virus software to RIT faculty, staff, and students. Anti-virus software will provide some (but not complete) protection against malicious software.
  • The RIT Information Security Office provides information on Safe Social Networking and other safe practices and Avoiding Identity Theft.
  • The RIT Information Security Office provides Digital Self Defense training through the Center for Professional Development and departmental training on demand. Contact us for more information.


What You can Do

  • If you believe you're a victim of tax fraud, file a police report, and complete an online Identity Theft Affidavit at IRS.gov and with your state tax authority. 
  • If you are the recipient or victim of an online scam, contact RIT Public Safety at (585) 475-2853.
  • If you believe your password may have been compromised, contact the appropriate help desk immediately. You can contact the ITS Service Desk at (585) 475-4357 (phone), (585) 475-2810 (TTY). Students can contact Resnet at (585) 475-2600.


For More Information


Quick Infosec Tip: RIT provides four different wireless networks across campus. Are you using the right one? Visit our wireless networking page at http://www.rit.edu/security/content/wireless-networking


Reminder: The RIT Information Security Policies and Standards are designed to help keep RIT and the RIT community safe from cybersecurity threats: http://www.rit.edu/security/content/intro-policies-standards